By Yujin Luo
In the spirit of Christmas, Brisbane’s 33 libraries are willing to waive outstanding library fees during December as part of its Library Amnesty Program. Instead, consumers who hold overdue fines will have to donate a can of food as a waived exchange.
According to Brisbane City Council, this is the tenth year the program has run, in partnership with Foodbank Queensland, and in 2018 more than 43,000 cans of food were donated to people in need and more than $200,000 in late fees waived.
“This year is shaping up to be another successful library amnesty with already close to 11,000 cans donated and thousands of dollars in fines waived,” said the administration.
The donation of canned food will be given to Australia’s largest food relief organisation, Foodbank. They will distribute all that was collected to charities and community organisations who assist those in need.
Based on the data from Foodbank, 34% of additional food is required in Queensland to meet current demand. Thus, this is a good initiative to get more additional food. However, perishable will not be accepted.
For those residents who have returned the books but still have incurred overdue fees, they also can have these fees waived in exchange for a can of food. Yet, those who have lost library items are not allowed to take part in this initiative.
Residents without outstanding library fees but would still like to get involved, the Council staff will gladly accept donations of food/goods at a local library to help spread Christmas cheer to those in need.
To take part in Library Amnesty 2019, you can visit your local Brisbane City Council library until 31 December of this year with your overdue books and a donation of canned food.